There is a growing realization of the interrelation between immobility and poverty. In the least developed countries, enhanced personal mobility necessarily implies the greater use of nonmotorized means of transportation, including the freedom to walk in safety. Motorized transportation is too scarce, expensive, and--in urban areas--polluting to provide a universal means of movement for the masses. This is especially the case in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which is dependent on vehicular transport manufactured outside the continent. Although SSA exhibits both the least incidence of and greatest need for cheap forms of nonmotorized transportation (NMT), paradoxically it has one of the most hostile policy climates for its use. A lack of physical infrastructure in the urban areas and negative attitudes among decision makers and influential members of the public discourage NMT usage. The damaging policy constraints on the promotion and use of NMT are illustrated through an examination of the recent history of the bicycle in Africa. The roles of import and pricing policies are outlined, demonstrating that governments have tended to suppress ownership by overtaxing imports. The conclusions make proposals for policies to encourage wider use of NMT by seeking a new, international basis for their production and finance, and removing all taxes to stimulate demand.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 22-26
  • Monograph Title: Nonmotorized transportation research, issues, and use
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00713602
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309061504
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Nov 28 1995 12:00AM